The Philadelphia 76ers and small forward Danny Granger, have reached a deal on a buyout Wednesday afternoon. Granger, 30, will be placed on waivers, where it is believed that the Los Angeles Clippers are the favorites to acquire the services of the former Indiana Pacer.
The Pacers traded Granger earlier this month to Philadelphia for LaVoy Allen and Evan Turner and was reportedly upset upon hearing the news. The Sixers were hesitant to buy Granger out, believing they could instead sign and trade him during the summer, but ultimately gave in to his wishes. It is not yet clear how much of his 14 million dollar salary he is giving up for the chance to hit the waiver wire.
The real question general managers should be asking themselves: Is Granger still an effective player? It's a valid question, as Granger has only played 34 games in the past two seasons, missing all but 5 games last season with a calf injury. Granger has only played 22.5 minutes per game this year, so there have been questions about his stamina and productivity. Granger has posted his lowest Player Efficiency Rating (10.4), True Shooting Percentage (49.1%), Offensive Rating (98) and Win Shares per 48 (.090) of his career this season, and has been worth 0 Offensive Win Shares. Clearly, Granger is no longer the offensive juggernaut he used to be a few seasons ago, where he averaged 18.7 points per game and had a Player Efficiency Rating of 18.6, however, Granger can still contribute defensively. He has posted up his best Defensive Rating (99) of his career, and is projected to have his best Defensive Win Share total of his career, per 82 games, with 1.2 through 29 games.
Combining his defensive presence with his ability to shoot the long ball well, Granger should be the most attractive player on the buyout market. Teams looking for a Shane Battier or Bruce Bowen type of wing will immediately look at Granger, who is substantially more dynamic than either of those two players because of his offensive potential. It is unclear how much money he will command, but since he gave up money to potentially go to a contender, Granger will no doubt be willing to take a big pay cut, should the right team want him.